Sunday, September 05, 2010

More about capitalism

I've been saying for some time now that I believe capitalism to be a great evil. Today I came across an article entitled A World in Collapse? by the journalism professor, Robert Jensen, whom I admire very much. Here's a brief excerpt:

Capitalism is the most wildly productive economic system in history, but the one thing it cannot produce is meaning. Even more troubling is the way, through its promotion of narcissism and mindless consumption, that capitalism undermines the larger culture’s ability to create real meaning. Virtually all of what is good in society—solidarity, compassion, creativity, ethics, joy—comes from outside capitalism, giving the illusion that capitalism is a civilized system. It’s a cliché, but important enough that we sing it over and over: Money can’t buy you love. Capitalism cannot create a healthy human community, and it undermines the aspect of human nature rooted in solidarity and love.

The other obvious failure of capitalism is its contribution to the erosion of the health of the ecosystem. Humans have been drawing down the ecological capital of the planet since the invention of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, but that process has intensified dramatically in the capitalist/imperialist/industrial era. Our culture is filled with talk about the success of capitalism even though that system degrades our relationships and threatens our existence. That’s an odd definition of success.

It seems to me that we have lost the will to save ourselves as a species. And there's really only one reason for it: the seemingly inescapable grip that the capitalist system has on us.

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